“Oprah Juice” by Kai Wu

Kai Wu is a student at Cal Arts. He made a music video about Oprah – specifically a music video for Oprah Juice, “a drink that helps people become happier, smarter and basically bring them a better life”. Don’t ask me why, but I think this is hilarious.


  • The Gee

    mesmerizing.

  • Magnusson

    This is actually based off of a popular meme on the japanese website nico-nico douga.

    The original this is based off of is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0-2lzA7_Cg

    • Ben K.

      Jerry’s definitely a huge Miku fan.

  • That Chick

    This made my day, and I am NOT an Oprah fan. :>

  • Mike Johnson

    Brilliantly funny! And I loved the “bow down and worship” part…so true, so true!

  • Bob

    Letterman will want this.

  • http://los-utopicos.blogspot.com allari

    Better than the original meme TENFOLD XD

    • A

      because it’s racist

  • Lara

    Actually, I find this pretty offensive, clearly focused on shaming Oprah for being a larger, black woman. Come on, the hairy legs? the flying watermelon slices? the exaggerated female figures? I’m with you guys that Oprah could sell ice to Eskimos, and lines like “bow to your goddess” hold some truth, but does the limited depth of the commentary merit the less-than-subtle prejudices of the design?

    • Bobby

      If you can’t understand that the whole thing is satire. With the exaggeration and over-embellished nature of the animation than obviously you don’t get it.

      It’s a SATIRE! Look it up.

      • John

        Hi, I write satire. That is not satire. If you want to satire crass commercialism, fine. But what are the watermelon slices satirising? The hairy legs?

        “Oprah is fat. Har har har. She is black. Har har har. Black people love chicken. Hilarious stereotype! I’ll put that in. Har har har. Hmm. Offensive. Better call it satire.”

        I’ve come to the aid of other animation here when people haven’t gotten the joke, but this has gone for cheap shots when it could have been a lot sharper. Satire actually makes a point. This is just a parade of stereotypes with no point. Almost made it with the commercialism skewering, but then he changed the joke. Fail.

      • A

        straight up racist

      • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

        Okay, John can be my new best friend.

    • wgan

      no, Oprah can’t sell ice to Eskimos, but she can give every Eskimo a car to make them ‘happy’ and YELL ‘OPRAH’

    • M

      Well, there is always at least one person who is gonna miss the point and get offended.

      • derpderp

        dude, you rubes, you have to understand that it’s perfectly possible to see “the point” and still identify some tired, offensive ol’ bigoted tropes.

      • Lara

        Thanks, derpderp, for that point, which is what I was trying to point out. I think I see “the point”, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to discuss and question the sociological impact of the images conveying that message. Also, as a few other people mentioned below, this is apparently a parody of another animation, and may be consistent of the animator’s style, and knowing that DOES change the way I’d read it–so thanks for those of you who shared that information.

      • Stephan

        I think this is beautifully animated, has a lot of funny drawings, but then again how does the fried chicken and the “Hide Your Kids Hide Your Wife” guy (I think that’s him) being whipped like a slave help the video? I went from grinning to “ugh. laziness”. Forget being offended, it made the video less entertaining for me.

    • some random guy

      Lara, this video is a parody of Oprah, but also a parody of another video from Japan. In the original video, the song was about fruit and vegetable juice, not Oprah juice. So the flying fruit was one of the things they kept from the original parody. Also, the hairy legs thing is a lot better than a half naked gay guy with stars over his nipples, which is what they had in the original video.

      as far as the exaggerated female figures goes, I’m pretty sure those were to replace the exaggerated females dressed as eggplants in the original video.

  • tiffany

    Great job, kai wu!

    LET’S DEBATE!

  • http://jdweiss.blogspot.com/ Jared D. Weiss

    my only complaint is papyrus font :/

  • The Gee

    When I watched it I wasn’t aware that it was based on something which already exists, something recent.

    That drops it down some spots for me.

    It’s one thing to satirize a public figure. It’s another thing to just do a wholesale recreation of an existing work which has nothing to do with the subject being satirized.

    Sure, he’s a student…but as a creative person! if he is going to put that up on YouTube then he should make a note that acknowledges that he used something he didn’t create.
    He could copyright the animation and “his” take on the concept but man without that extra info he is just misleading people.

    I know, I know, everyone does it. YouTube is full of….like that. Most of the people who just do rip off work like that (made out of respect for the brilliance that someone else came up with first, and recently) are amatuers. At best hobbyists who have video editing software.

    With what he did he has to kill two birds with one stone. And, he didn’t. He just used someone else rock to throw at one bird.

    I’ll still stand behind the fact that it is mesmerizing but after seeing the original…it only makes all the so-so aping of cartoonists styles he used, everyone from Bagge to Cooper more obviously insulting.

    And, I’m not going to watch it again, but, if Lara is right and there was watermelon in that. WTF.

    I can see the kid put thought (not much) into the actions of animating it. But, he didn’t seem to consider hardly anything else.

    Sorry to be harsh about it. Surely, the most recent posters are just young as Kai Wu but, man. Next time the kid should focus on making something he can say he owns, from top to bottom. It’ll be a better use of his time.

    • jabbawockeasy

      On the YouTube page it is hosted on, under the info, he noted that “this video is a parody of “Po pi po ~ Miku Hatsune Vegetables Juice Dance”. Animation & Design by Kai Wu. Music and voice copyright by RamazuP and Miku Hatsune accordingly.”

      Of course that information is lost when it is embedded on other websites but, to his credit, he was completely open and honest about the parody and he did credit Miku Hatsune for the song in the video.

      This is exactly what it set out to be. An excellent parody. If you want to hold student filmmakers to such high standards in their films than you should hold yourself to high standards in your critiques and do adequate research to draw such conclusions.

      And I don’t see any “aping” in his work either. I’m not an animator but based on his youtube account (http://www.youtube.com/user/iamkaiwu) and blog (http://iamkaiwu.blogspot.com/) all I see is a consistency in style.

      If you want to see something he owns top to bottom then watch the following and let him worry about his own career: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNU3w4K1CBw

      • The Gee

        If the page does have that information on it then I apologize for being wrong.
        However, I am not the one who put the video up and can only go on what is presented.

        As for doing due diligence prior to commenting…please, spare that. There was a last frame in the video to put that information. It’s easier done than said.

        As for the aping, it is right in front of your eyes. He does variations of Oprah using other artists’ styles. If you don’t know the artists then I don’t expect you to research them.

        I don’t have the time to look through everything he did and won’t. Unlike most folks who surf the web, I don’t waste my time watching every video link someone puts up….but when I do….like anyone else, opinions can be formed.

        As for it being an “excellent parody”… how did it make fun of the original?
        That’s the criteria.

        Nowadays with so much stuff that can be taken in, I realize that people have loose criteria for good satire and good parody. There’s even looser criteria for what is satire and what is parody. Without writing a book: not all that glitters is gold.

        I appreciate your taking time to inform me and others of the particulars. I’m sure the animator appreciates it, too. Being passionate about something you like is a good thing.

      • shogun888

        There’s a line between critiquing an artist’s work and attacking his character to make yourself look smart. I think you’ve crossed that line. If you were to look at Kai’s other work (including his pieces not posted on YouTube), you would see that he is full of talent and promise. He has a style all his own, much like any good writer has a distinctive “voice”. He may allude to other artist’s styles at times, but there is no “aping” in any of his work. Of course, you seem far too self-important to look at the work of a lowly art student. Take your ego elsewhere. It’s spoiling everyone else’s fun.

        P.S. His “translation” of the Japanese is especially funny, at times mirroring the sense of the original and at times veering off into absurdity. It is parody on many levels. Quite interesting!

      • http://los-utopicos.blogspot.com allari

        the original one has that retarded ADD jerkiness that pases for animated comedy that puts anime fanboys in histerics.
        I think Kai´s take on it is funnier.

      • http://los-utopicos.blogspot.com allari

        also, the original is pretty derivative of j-pop´s fake “wackiness” , Kai´s “localization” is more fun one can feel it comes from an actual person.
        BTW, extra points for the fake subtitles XD, i love me some good old school Political Incorrectness.

      • GreatUnspoken

        “Political correctness” was conceived as a means of acknowledging other experiences and presences outside the white, able-bodied, hetero male experience. It’s meant to assist in a more inclusive public dialog. To admit other people exist and contribute.

        Whitewashing Avatar: The Last Airbender was “politically incorrect.” This is just racist.

        And the fact that you congratulate yourself for not recognizing that is pitiable. It doesn’t make you edgy to laugh at the denigration of black people. Your grandfather doubtlessly told the same jokes.

  • Doodyville 101

    I LOVE that video!!! I think the music is awesome too! I hope his professor gave him an A+++ for that project!

  • clmvt18

    fvbakl

    This video is awesome. Congrats Kai! If you feel the video is offensive

  • http://www.DigThisCrazyTestPattern.com Kevin Wollenweber

    Gotta admit that the music is infectious, and I’m imagining this bizarre visual, similar to a Scope commercial from the distant past in which a tired-looking girl walks into her bathroom, opens up the cabinet above the sink and pulls out the bottle of Scope, takes a swig…and has this wild reaction as if volts of electricity were shot through her…only, in this case, the girl takes a taste of this juice from her refrigerator and is zapped into top speed dance mode, uncontrolled dancing, up and down, to the point of near exhaustion…and with the same bug-eyed look on her face as the girl in the old Scope commercial…it’s a hard thing to describe. Too bad I don’t have all the tools that this individual had to illustrate my point…and mine probably wouldn’t have been deemed offensive by anyone–just nonsense visual fun!

  • http://tedzey.wordpress.com tedzey

    Why is it I feel like this is what the Japanese really think of “Oprah” minus giant robots?

  • Melissa

    This video is awesomely amazing.

    To everyone debating- what happened to making art for fun? Don’t over think it, just watch. If you don’t enjoy, oh well. If you do, then that’s fine.

    • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

      Some of us don’t enjoy viewing the world with our brains turned off and would rather not.

      You can like it, no one’s stopping you, but we also have a right to voice our opinions.

      • Melissa

        Sure. Analyze all you want. Just know any meanings you get out of it are self-induced.

        Kai just makes things for fun. All of his videos and his artwork look like this, just take a look at his blog and the rest of his youtube channel. There is no hidden agenda behind this, it’s just a parody video made in 2 weeks’ time.

      • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

        Not every instance of racism has some insidious agenda behind it. Lots of dumb kids think racist jokes are funny because someone they admire said something racist and they take that as being “edgy,” but just because they’re just dumb kids and not outright klan members doesn’t mean it’s still not damaging.

        Normalizing racism leads to larger problems, and unfortunately, people often try (mostly unintentionally) to normalize it through “comedy.”

        It’s like Derpderp says further down- this may be funny to you, but it’s a whole different story for a lot of people of color, who have to deal with people envisioning them just like how the video portrays Oprah; as a soft-headed dimwit with lips the size of bike tubes and watermelon on the brain, on a regular basis because the stereotypes are so prevalent that they’re often inescapable.

        Then those stereotypes define how people interact with them, etc etc, and then we’d be getting into institutionalized racism from here on out, so let’s just leave it at, “racism is bad, mmkay?”

        Because people like it when you keep it simple and monosyllabic.

    • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

      There are some things people cannot help but be repulsed by. Gore, profanity, shit jokes, Three-and-a-Half Men.

      Bigotry is among them.

      • Sonic the Hedgehog

        R-Robotnik!? Up to your old tricks again! I’ll put a stop to your plan to abolish bigotry in the animation community! Just you wait!

      • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

        And if there’s one thing I can’t stand more than bigotry, it’s OBNOXIOUS BLUE HEDGEHOGS!!

  • sierra

    GOOD JOB KAI! Haters gotta hate!

  • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

    You’re well on your way to becoming your own SomethingAwful parody, guys. Great job.
    http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/animation-website.php?page=2

    Maybe you found it funny for the same subconscious reason you’d find minstrel shows funny.

    Yes, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but despite protests to the contrary, this video contains examples of thinly veiled racist mockery. Don’t bother with some panicky reply in its defense, or trying to explain it away- the deed has been done. Denying racism doesn’t make it nonexistent, it just makes you look like jackasses. The fried chicken and watermelon, the liver lips, and to a lesser extent perhaps, the fat shaming. It’s all there and the animator loved every moment he spent putting them in. You’re going to say something like, “racism doesn’t exist unless you go looking for it,” but no. No. This was veiled racism and you know it. You can defend the animator and their creative license, but don’t make excuses for him and at least have the balls or whathaveyou to admit that this video employs racism for cheap giggles. They have all the right in the world to make it, but if they make it, it will be criticized.

    It’s not because of how she looks, by the way. I take no issue with doing a caricature of Oprah, but there is a line between caricature and bigoted mockery. You toss the stereotypical foods up there and you’ve not just crossed it, but lept yards past it.

    I await the snarls and cries of indignation. People seem so apathetic about bigotry these days, and someday that apathy going to come back and bite us in the ass, if it isn’t already. You say don’t sweat the small stuff, but that small stuff just gets bigger and bigger…

    • Momo

      Because thinking a video making a parody of a ridiculous overblown celebrity is funny is the same as being entertained by blackface. Right.

      • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

        And it starts.

    • derpderp

      I can’t like this more than once, so I’ll just say– you nailed it. People are gonna cry about “political correctness,” but those who defend bigotry know what they’re doing and saying is sociopathic and wrong. Animation is loaded with privileged kids who need a social conscience (I am not referring to Kai Wu, here, as I do not know the artist and I’m sure they have a plethora of experiences that I’ll never know, but it ain’t showing, here). And I don’t mean an Get-Along-Gang type of social conscience, I mean, an awareness outside of their ignorant little bubble. We’re artists, here. How many times has the “lol @ fat black women” joke been made, really? It’s impossible to justify in a masterpiece like Coal Black, nevertheless in a cute little student film.

    • some random guy

      oh for the love of got dude, don’t use the “if you try and argue with me you are part of the cancer kill x” argument, that’s 4chan levels of BS, even if you’re right that takes away most of your credibility. Be subtle dude, an issue like this is no place for people parading around with bombs like that.

      Yes making fun of fat people excessively is bad, YouTube has to much of the “LOL FAT PEOPLE” thing. But this is different. Oprah’s been Yoyo dieting for ages now and I have a suspicious she’s starting to use her weight and the controversy around it to get attention and promote herself and her show. Most of the time I hear about her it’s either “oh look Oprah’s fat again/skinny again” if it’s not her backing some sort of product. Making fun of her for that is perfectly acceptable because of how much emphasis SHE intentionally puts on it for the sake of generating buzz. Plus she herself talks about OTHER people being fat like that American Idol girl. Seriously, it’s kind of hypocritical. Her weight is practically one of the reasons people talk about her so much and that in itself is RIPE for PARODY, plus her hypocrisy makes it so she’s just BEGGING for things like this video to happen.

      I’m not arguing about whether or not this video is racist. I’m white so I can’t really do that, but I can point out that making fun of someone because they put emphasis on the their weight is OK. If Oprah didn’t make such a big deal about it and this video just randomly decided to go “lol she’s fat” that would be in VERY bad taste, but it doesn’t, it took a stab at someone who’s capitalized on their weight and hypocrisy and that is perfectly fine.

      • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

        I haven’t used a single 4chan colloquialism as far as I know, so I’m not sure why you’re bringing that hellhole up at all.

        I did, however, purposely downplay the video mocking her weight. I don’t think that was as bad for the reasons you listed.

      • some random guy

        “Yes, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but despite protests to the contrary, this video contains examples of thinly veiled racist mockery. Don’t bother with some panicky reply in its defense, or trying to explain it away- the deed has been done. Denying racism doesn’t make it nonexistent, it just makes you look like jackasses.”

        “I await the snarls and cries of indignation”

        dude, you are basically just saying “this is the way it is and if you argue that it isn’t than you are part of the problem, oh and I know you’ll try and deny it that just proves my point”.

        That’s not arguing, and I bring up 4chan because that’s the kind of thing I’d expect to read if I was browsing it. Have some class man.

        I’m not saying that racism doesn’t exist in this video, I’m saying that you are destroying the arguments credibility by telling people that arguing against it just makes them look stupid (“denying racism doesn’t make it nonexistent, it makes you look like a jackass”). It’s like invoking Godwin’s law, once you do it your entire argument goes down the drain, no matter how valid it would be otherwise.

        If you are going to attempt to try and throw your 2 cents into an argument as charged as this, then you should at least TRY and treat people who think the situation is different with a little respect instead of declaring that arguing differently “makes them look like jackasses”

      • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

        –dude, you are basically just saying “this is the way it is and if you argue that it isn’t than you are part of the problem, oh and I know you’ll try and deny it that just proves my point”.

        Yeah, that’s it exactly.

        –”I’m saying that you are destroying the arguments credibility by telling people that arguing against it just makes them look stupid”

        I’ve argued about this topic for a long time, so I know the arguments people use and they’re bullshit. Preemptively making a point of this might be petty, but it’s better than spending ages getting to that conclusion when I’ve already done it and seen it done before.

        –”then you should at least TRY and treat people who think the situation is different with a little respect instead of declaring that arguing differently “makes them look like jackasses”

        That’s the thing: where’s the respect in telling someone else that the mockery at their group is non-existent, insinuating that they’re seeing things that aren’t there? If we’re talking about showing people respect, they should be respectful in return. If they approached this situation in a respectful way, they’d consider that maybe a parade of insensitive stereotypes might make the people being stereotyped very uncomfortable and would therefore respect that response as a valid one (that perhaps they’ve felt from time to time), but the conclusion they inevitably come to is “black people need to stop being so sensitive,” that it’s perfectly fine to offend them because of some mythological race card that they “always play,” which is basically telling them that they aren’t important enough to show consideration to and the latter being a method of delegitimizing valid claims of racism, whether to shrug it off or to discredit those making the claims, all because they’ve never had that experience and cannot or refuse to empathize.

        That’s not something worthy of a respectful response, is it?

        -I bring up 4chan because that’s the kind of thing I’d expect to read if I was browsing it. Have some class man.

        It’s not a 4chan response. A 4channer would be on their side of the argument, being as racist and obnoxious as they can, egging people on and syphoning up the attention they get from it. Don’t compare me to those emotional parasites; I absolutely loathe 4chan. I’m not doing this because it’s fun, I’m doing it because I think people should counter racism when they see it, and I see a LOT of racism in the animation community. If my response indicates anything, it’s experience, and perhaps fatigue.

      • some random guy

        “I’ve argued about this topic for a long time, so I know the arguments people use and they’re bullshit. Preemptively making a point of this might be petty, but it’s better than spending ages getting to that conclusion when I’ve already done it and seen it done before.”

        so you’ll blow people off because you think you’re right? even if you are, that’s some grade A arrogance son. You should approach every argument like the other person might be right, no matter how much evidence there is to the other side being wrong. Seriously.

        “That’s the thing: where’s the respect in telling someone else that the mockery at their group is non-existent, insinuating that they’re seeing things that aren’t there?”

        when stuff like this can happen
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uneOOclsaPs
        I’m not saying that’s what Kai Wu’s video isn’t racist, it could be, but seriously, proclaiming that anyone who disagrees with you is racist just allows for shit like this to happen where something that clearly ISN’T racist is treated like it IS because nobody can challenge the accusation of racism without seeming racist.

        “It’s not a 4chan response.”

        I’m going to use the same argument you used earlier.
        “I’ve argued about this topic for a long time, so I know the arguments people use and they’re bullshit.”
        it’s a 4chan response because you don’t try to allow for anyone to be right, it’s only you and your agenda, which is very 4chan-ish. You also choose to forgo explanation in favor of generalizations. Just like them. It has nothing to do with what side you are on, or why you are doing it. You shall be compared to them as long as you use the same argument style they do. Whether it be to fight racism or spread it.
        “Preemptively making a point of this might be petty, but it’s better than spending ages getting to that conclusion when I’ve already done it and seen it done before.”

        I’m not arguing the Kai Wu cartoon isn’t racist, I’m arguing that YOU need to stop approaching racial problems like there is one good side and one racist side. Making the generalization that the other side is wrong and racist just because it’s true most of the time isn’t a good idea because it can lead to shit like that hoops and yoyo thing. Seriously man, argue like a man, not a 4channer.

        also, yes I do think this Kai Wu cartoon is somewhat racist. I have no doubt in the people of cartoon brew being able to see that. What I do see as a problem is this one sided approach to the issues. Martin Luther King never paraded around declaring everything racist, he was smarter than that.

  • Rufus

    I hope Oprah sees this. :) I think any woman that has a magazine of her own where she’s featured on EVERY SINGLE COVER deserves a “tribute” like this. :)

  • http://woweh.com Kelly

    …Is that Antoine Dodson in there…? *squint*

  • Katelyn

    Go Kai!!! It seemed like you had fun with this, what great stress relief to turn out this little film.

  • julie

    I for one find this video incredibly offensive. Drawing a woman who is overweight and has large lips as a caricature who is overweight and has large lips just shouldn’t be done. It’s racist and being drawn overweight is shameful.

    Also Oprah with hairy legs? Extremely offensive. Leg hair on women isn’t natural. And should never be used for humor purposes.

    The chicken and watermelon was in poor taste. Especially in a continually moving line of many different iconic food and items. Super racist. In fact I couldn’t think of anything else while I was watching.

    • http://woweh.com Kelly

      Leg hair on women isn’t natural? Well damn, I guess I’ll hop in the bathtub and ‘regain my humanity..!’ :P

    • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

      “as a caricature who is overweight and has large lips”

      Ah, so Oprah’s lips take up most of her lower jaw? They’re the same color as liver? Hm, didn’t know that. Maybe I’m not looking through my privilege goggles.

      I can’t find my privilege goggles! Tch, Julie, did you take them?

      Oh, well. Yeah, blackface caricatures? TOTALLY meant to be harmless representations of black people! We all know black people all look alike, don’t we, Julie?

      “Especially in a continually moving line of many different iconic food and items.”

      So you’re basically admitting that the artist purposefully stuck them in there in an attempt to make a veiled racist joke? THANK YOU!

      “In fact I couldn’t think of anything else while I was watching.”

      “IF WE IGNORE RACISM IT’S NOT THERE!” See? What did I tell you guys? Hell, can I call ‘em or can I call ‘em?

      I’d like to thank Julie for being such a wonderful assistant!

  • You annoy me.

    The hell is wrong with you people?

    Where do you see racism? There’s a flying chicken leg and watermelon slice, so what? There’s also poop, a burger, a baby, a hot dog, a burger, a cupcake, a microphone, etc. Some of you are reading too much into this. There’s no bucket of fried chicken if you’re THAT desperate for a stereotype.

    At no point is Oprah presented as a subhuman for being black. It’s just silly fun. Seeing this as racist is like saying Elmer Fudd is a racist depiction of white people.

    She has hairy legs, so what? Could it be because it’s just funny? THERE I SAID IT. Hairy women are funny.

    She has big lips in some drawings, so what? Is it a direct reference to her race? No, it’s just big lips. Because they’re funny. Flapjack gets big lips sometimes, and I don’t think he’s black. A lot of characters get big lips.

    Quit being so damn overly sensitive over fun things.

    • Momo

      THIS. So hard.

      Also, if you notice in the artist’s other work, exaggerated lips are fairly common in his style, regardless of the race being depicted.

  • derpderp

    Fun– for you! Would you ever show this to a black woman? I sure as heck wouldn’t want to do that to somebody I consider a friend, or even that I just respect on a basic evel.

    As for the “there are other foods too!” I ask– why was watermelon included in all this junk food, huh? As a fruit, it doesn’t fit in at all. Fried chicken and grape drink at least fit in with the joke that all of the food shown are bad for you (and the others are pretty Oprah-specific jokes, which I found pretty funny, like the gift package, money, etc). Watermelon seems, uh, uncoincidental.

    Furthermore, if it makes you so sick that a person would vocalize that they find this stuff unacceptable in the 21st century, why’s it so irrational that the actual artifact (and the phenomenon of defending it in the name of “fun”) would make somebody else sick? Yeesh. What a whiner.

    I publicly associate myself with the animation community. It matters to me. Get over it, it’s not my problem if it “makes you sick” that you aren’t able to laugh at black women without somebody saying that they can’t support it. I’m not saying this shouldn’t exist, that it should be taken down, or that anybody should be punished. I’m saying it’s a damn embarrassment because it contains these ideas that have been historically used to contribute to the public and private degradation of black women (tropes contained: black women are unfeminine, unkempt, fat, and to be associated with certain foods). I’m not going to rag on the lips because I identify the style as something that I wouldn’t associate with a minstrel show, but I would not see it as unreasonable if a black American saw this and was revolted by visual allusions to a period of time in American history where they were the target of a lot of abuse in the name of “fun.”

    I’m not 4channing out. It is sociopathic to get your kicks off of a history of other peoples’ misery. And I am allowed to say it. Perhaps it is you guys who are “too sensitive” that you can’t tolerate it when someone calls into question your inalienable right to not think about the consequences of your art, or of other peoples’ art.

    • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

      Derpderp is credit to team!

    • Sonic the Hedgehog

      Grape soda is another stereotypical African American food substance. The animator, for whatever his skills are, seems to have very specifically focused on a lot of stereotypes, some not obvious.

      I guess I think I get what’s he’s getting at, but its not working. The best example of it is Angelfood McSpade, R. Crumb’s enormous African Amazon which he used to explore white privilege by showing caucasians interacting with the stereotype.

      If I would SERIOUSLY read into this, I would read the message that the idea of respecting a black woman is ludicrous. It’s hard for me to believe that anyone who feels that way would get their point across subtly, so I’m sure he just did it for AN EASY LAUGH. He didn’t need to though. The animation, facial expressions and timing is very funny on its own.

      Zone One Completed.

  • Cyle

    Regardless of whether you intended to make them, everyone should try to be aware of any unfortunate implications present in their work. It’s in your own best interest, really. If the point is to make people laugh, it’s best to make sure you aren’t accidentally offending part of your audience. I might have found this funnier if I hadn’t been distracted by the parts that were questionable.

  • Momo

    How many of the people getting all up in arms over the “racism” in this video are actually African American and how many are white guys?

    Juuuust sayin’.

    • Cyle

      Well I haven’t gotten “all up in arms”, but I’m African American. Not that it should matter all that much since you don’t have to be an African American or “non-white” to talk about racial issues. Yeah, you’re more likely to recognize racism and want to talk about it if you’ve experienced it, but I wouldn’t discredit someone’s opinion on the matter simply because of their ethnicity.

      Also I want to reiterate that I’m not saying Kai intended for this video to be racist.

      • Momo

        I’m not discrediting opinions, I’m just speaking from personal experience in situations such as these in which “white guys” (to use a general term for those outside the ethnic group being targeted by the alleged racism) seem far more outraged and offended then those who are supposedly the target of said racism.

        That is not to say that people’s right to an opinion on the subject is dependent on their race. However I have noticed that a lot of people tend to cry “racism” more out of a desire to show how intelligent and non-racist they are themselves, rather than any genuine concern that the subject matter might be harmful or hutful to that particular racial group.

        I personally have been subjected to serious bigotry in the course of my life, so it is not something I take lightly. I know how damaging it can be.

        And again, I can only speak from personal experience, but not a single african american person I have shown this to IRL has thought it was racist or been offended by it.

    • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

      We should stop if we’re white. Gotchya. I’ll go tell Tim Wise to drop everything.

      It’s not about whether you’re black or white.

      • Momo

        Not what I was saying at all. I was just wondering at the number of “white guys” running to scream racism vs the number of African American people who actually find this video racially offensive. And no, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, but when that ratio is skewed one way I think it does say something.

        Just speaking from personal experience, though. Maybe I’m wrong.

        But again… just sayin’.

      • Sonic the Hedgehog

        How on Earth do you know if the people replying to these are black or white? Awful assumption to make.

        Like, Dr. Robotnik isn’t ACTUALLY Dr. Robotnik, he could be anyone, any race.

        I really am Sonic though. And as a blue citizen, I know that my people and their stereotypical love for banging on paint filled drums are next.

      • Momo

        Actually, I didn’t make any assumptions. I asked a question because I was curious as to whether this situation was at all similar to ones I have come across before.

        I do hate blue people though, but only if they’re Na’vi. :P

      • Sonic the Hedgehog

        Okay. But also you followed up the question with “Jus’ sayin’”. Which means you were declaring.

      • derpderp

        Dude, that’s asinine. I call out racism because it’s the proper thing to do; trust me, it hasn’t earned me any friends or cookies. I HAVE a far-less-anonymous name I use to comment on Cartoon Brew, too. If I wanted this credit, wouldn’t I be posting my real name, along with my URL, etc? I promise you that derpderp is not my real name, or even an online alias I frequently use for anything other than really annoying threads I read/participate in on CBrew.

      • Momo

        I think you’ve misunderstood what I was saying Derpderp, but I also didn’t word it as fully as I should have so that is my fault. I didn’t mean to infer that people do it as a way to make friends or show off or use it to prove to others how “intelligent and non-racist” they are, but to prove it to themselves. It’s a way for people to inflate their own self importance and make them feel like a “good person” and use that to gloss over self-doubt. This isn’t something that’s exclusive to issue of racism. It extends to pretty much any type of bigotry, be is racial, sexual, or otherwise.

        And really, I wasn’t accusing anyone in particular of doing this. But I have run across it before many times.

        And Sonic, I was indeed making a hypothesis based on previous situations I’ve encountered. However, I never claimed to know the race of anyone commenting on this thread, nor was I assuming my hypothesis was correct. So, no, not a declaration actually. I was just putting it out there as something to think about. I imagine you’re probably making some nice assumptions about me though. C:

      • derpderp

        You seem to have a real fixation on intention. I don’t give a rat’s about intention– the actions here are what matter.

        No one has made a judgment on Kai Wu, or insulted his character. I do not think Kai Wu is a racist. But it doesn’t matter whether someone “is a racist” or “is terrible.” What matters is the actions that are taking place.

        It does not matter what my intentions or motivations are. I could be racist as heck and it wouldn’t matter a lick. What matters is that voices are being raised that this is unacceptable, and I hope it has a positive impact. The animation community is NOT known for being welcoming to black people, given our history (frankly I have huge respect and admiration for any black cartoonists with thick enough skin to tolerate it), and it is our responsibility as the animation community to rectify the situation we inherited, like it or not.

        We don’t have a lot of power in the world, but each of us has power in our own little circles. Ours is animation. Let’s do it right.

    • GreatUnspoken

      Because, naturally, only black people should care about racism. If you’re not the one being denigrated, what’s the point, eh?

      • Momo

        Not what I was saying at all. See above response.

  • GreatUnspoken

    Fried chicken, watermelon and purple drank?

    Check yourself, Kai Wu. Seriously.

    And Cartoon Brew, the last thing this juvenile, creatively bankrupt, and yes, racist crap needs is a pat on the head and a gold star.

    This is the grotesquely offensive work of a smirking hipster who’s seen too many episodes of Chapelle Show.

  • Kwesi K.

    Well, it looks like it’s time for another game of bingo…

    http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/4523/politicsracistbingocard.jpg

    • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

      Ooh! I nearly forgot about these.

  • Yill Yomperson

    This makes me horribly uncomfortable, from the depiction of Oprah as having hairy legs and armpits to the watermelon slices.

    He’s a student but he needs to know this is racist.

  • PersonLady

    Just gonna leave this here…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbud8rLejLM

    • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

      See my post about people using comedy to try and normalize racism.

  • Marc Baker

    This video seems a bit weird at first, but when you consider how Oprah has created an entire generation of folks who can’t think for themselves, and how there are better things to show on afternoon TV besides her show (cough*cartoons*cough) This video gets it’s point across fairly well.

  • Kai Wu

    Hi Everyone,

    This is Kai Wu.

    First off, I want to thank you for watching Oprah Juice, I really appreciate the time and thoughts you gave to my work.

    Making Oprah Juice was a spontaneous idea that I had after watching “”Po pi po ~ Miku Hatsune Vegetables Juice Dance”. It wasn’t really something that I had planned or thought long and hard about. My only purpose of making this video was to poke fun of Oprah. There is no need for me to meander so I’m cutting to the point:

    The watermelon – Black people with watermelon is a stereotype. I agree with people who view this as racist. I also agree with people who don’t see this as racist. Every person has his/her own opinions, and I absolutely respect them. I do want to apologize to people who were offended by this. I’m not a fan of cliche excuses, but I need to express that I had absolutely no intention to offend anyone.

    The big lips, big hips and the above-average figure – Oprah Winfrey has big lips, big hips and an above-average size body, and she is proud of that (she has expressed this on her show) and that is the reason why I felt comfortable making exaggerations of those features. In my opinion, if I drew a black woman with average-size lips, hips and an average body and called her Oprah, that would be racist.

    The hairy legs, armpit hair and hair on her butt – These are the oldest tricks in my cheap-humor textbook. I remember during grade school when there were still good-sized images of people in the textbooks, I used to draw random hair and mustache on them all the time. Black, White, Asian or Latino; everyone has body hair.

    Big lips and big eyes on the other characters – I love drawing big lips and big eyes, this is my style. I do not only pull those out on black people. Though I do see the point some people were making, I can only say that it is a misfortunate coincidence.

    What I wanted to get out of this message is to let people know that I was only trying to have fun making art and animation and poking fun at Oprah, but I had absolutely no intention in mind to make anything racist.

    Thanks for reading.

    • GreatUnspoken

      But nothing to say about the fried chicken and grape soda, huh.

      Just a watermelon slice, by itself, might have been an accident or coincidental. But with fried chicken AND grape soda?

      You meant that.

      You’re not sorry you did it, you’re sorry someone objected and called you on it, and now you feel awkward and uncomfortable.

      Now you know how I felt when I watched your cartoon.

      • Momo

        So an artist sees your reaction and apologizes for unintentional offense caused by his work, and you come back with what essentially amounts to “YOU’RE NOT REALLY SORRY, YOU’RE JUST SORRY YOU GOT CAUGHT.”

        Way to make assumptions about someone and their intentions. What are you, five?

      • Someguy

        “But nothing to say about the fried chicken and grape soda, huh.

        Just a watermelon slice, by itself, might have been an accident or coincidental. But with fried chicken AND grape soda?”

        Caricatures of people, objects and topics are meant to subtly insult.

        Cartoonists do things that poke fun and subtly insult a person, a social group, a topic, etc.

        Many hardcore and true cartoonists will often poke fun at these things, and will often get the same *this is offensive* reply. They don’t play it safe. Especially political cartoons.

        GreatUnspoken, talk about nit picky. You know you aren’t making a valid argument by touching on things that have already been briefly discussed in Kai Wu’s reply.

        But then again, I can see why people would find this cartoon racist with the things discussed about, such as the watermelon, the fried chicken, and some of the caricature of the people shown in the video (but that’s Kai Wu’s style. Look it up) but seriously, there are many other cartoons to hunt down for this tongue in cheek humor. There are so many other racist cartoons you can write a whole essay on that intentionally tries to bring down the black people.

        I find this cartoon entertaining and funny, although I agree a bit with the whole racist and offensive issue, it’s a small problem.

        Now I honestly don’t know what kind of reaction this cartoon was made with some Asian elements, with someone well known from the group dancing to rice, sushi, curry, etc. Maybe the same, or maybe different.

        You’ve already made your point that you find this cartoon offensive – and we can leave it at that. It’s obvious that this cartoon is not for you, but for many others who will find this funny.

    • Sonic the Hedgehog

      You know what, again, despite everything, beautifully drawn.

  • Sam K

    Geez, people. Of all the things you could be worried about right now, should your REALLY be putting this much effort into arguing that someone you don’t know is a terrible person?

    • Momo

      Another very good point.

    • Kwesi K.

      Don’t believe anyone has said weather or not the creator is terrible.

      • Momo

        True nobody has outright called him names, but I have seen a lot if assumptions about his intentions and character in these comments.

      • Kwesi K.

        Please. Be specific.

        The only thing that has happened is that individuals have pointed out relevant instances where the creator has made use of racist iconography in his work and why these instances would be considered offensive. If you are seeing this as an attempt to vilify him, you may be jumping to an assumption yourself. Aside from that, the majority of intense criticism seems to be directed at those that are falling over themselves to excuse it for the sake of not thinking about it.

      • Momo

        “This is the grotesquely offensive work of a smirking hipster who’s seen too many episodes of Chapelle Show.”

        There, specific. C:

      • Kwesi K.

        And nothing about him being a bad or terrible person.

        Just a clueless young person that has little idea of the severity of what aspects of his work represents to people who are capable of pointing it out.

        Even in his apology he admits he really didn’t think about what he was doing, was just having fun. If critical thought and an attempt at context were in his toolbox (like Chapelle tends to do), he might have gotten a much different reaction.

  • Brittany

    I feel like I shouldnt even have to post this, but…Shouldnt you guys be attacking the Japanese for creating the video instead of Kai? Kai’s video came from a video that obviously makes fun of its own culture, that being: a culture that is obsessed with cartoon characters, having idol-chans, and the kinds of food they eat. To be honest, I don’t think Kai’s doing anything differently.

    So, why are you attacking something thats a representation of something else? Attack the original source if you’re that offended. Stop taking it out on someone who was probably just trying to have fun and relieve some stress by making something humorous while he’s at school.

    • GreatUnspoken

      Brittany, I’ve read a lot of clueless replies in this thread, but your takes the proverbial cake.

      “The Japanese” didn’t make the video that inspired Kai Wu. A single, Japanese creator did. And the inspirational video was not racially malicious or offensive, nor did it “make fun of Japanese culture.” It was a wacky, let’s-pretend vegetable juice ad, featuring a popular character from Vocaloid. It was Kai Wu’s choice to translate fannish, Japanese fluff into minstrel show mockery, in anticipation of high-fives from his buddies. Nobody made him do anything racist, nor was there anything in the original cartoon to suggest he should. It was purely voluntary.

      You’re doing everything to can and saying everything you can think of defend the indefensible. I’ve never seen anyone fight so hard to keep their blinders on.

      • Steven Finch, Attorney at Law

        Which proverb is that again?

  • JJhuffenstuff

    seriously guys. if it truly offends you, just say so and leave it be. you are not going to change anything by trolling this site. sure its racist, but its hella-fun and catchy. nice piece of work Kai. animation and timing are top notch. As for the characters; i’ve seen those lips in your stuff before, so no big deal.

    lol, it’s like saying any caricature of a white guy with a big nose is racist…yet why do I never hear anything about that?

    take a chill pill you over bearing n00bs.

    (´・ω・`)

    笑

    • http://gastrophobia.com DavidMcG

      “lol, it’s like saying any caricature of a white guy with a big nose is racist…yet why do I never hear anything about that?”
      -
      Perhaps this is because there isn’t a history of using caricature of white people whith big noses as a tool to opress white people. I mean, I’ve never even /heard/ of any stereotype that white people have big noses.

      I doubt most people arguing that this animation is racist believe the animator is racist. Clearly, the animator was attempting irony, but simply duplicating racist sterotypes of a culture that is not your own does not translate as mocking those stereotypes.